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John Milius

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John Milius

John Milius (born April 11, 1944) is a screenwriter, director, and producer. A former student at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, Milius started his movie career in a student film contest in 1967, for which he won first prize on his entry I'm So Bored.

Milius wrote, co-wrote and/or directed such popular and critically acclaimed films such as Apocalypse Now, The Hunt for Red October, Big Wednesday, Dillinger, and The Wind and the Lion, but he is notorious as the director of Red Dawn, a controversial 1984 film premised on a fictional Soviet invasion of the United States.

Red Dawn was recently in the news in connection with the capture of the former Iraqi dictator Sadam Hussein. The American commander of the operation to capture Hussein was a fan of Milius' film, so he called the Saddam Hussein snatch "Operation Red Dawn" and dubbed the military units who actually captured Hussein "Wolverine One" and "Wolverine Two."

(The "Wolverines" are a fictional resistance unit in Red Dawn, composed of local high school students. Before the Soviet invasion, the high students attended a local high school, where the school mascot was the Wolverine.)

Milius is also known as the director of the film Conan the Barbarian, which made a star out of the relatively unknown actor and body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger. Milius also wrote the famous USS Indianapolis monologue for the film Jaws, suggested to Steven Spielberg the "bookend" scenes in the military graveyard in Normandy which gave the ending of Saving Private Ryan such an emotional wallop, and coined the famous "make my day" and "do you feel lucky?" lines from the Dirty Harry movies.

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